Manchester United could have sold winger Cristiano Ronaldo to Barcelona rather than Real Madrid, according to a man who was close to the deal.
Former Los Blancos president Ramon Calderon claims that ex-Red Devils manager Sir Alex Ferguson was open to the Portuguese superstar moving to Catalonia rather than the Spanish capital.
However, the player himself only wanted to join Madrid, putting an end to the possibility of a move to the Blaugrana from Old Trafford.
"In the last weeks before his transfer to Real Madrid , Sir Alex Ferguson suggested Cristiano Ronaldo in FC Barcelona," said Calderon on talkSPORT, according to Le 10 Sport.
"Catalan leaders were very happy ... But finally, Cristiano Ronaldo told Ferguson: 'I do not go to another club as Real Madrid.' That's why we signed the agreement. Everyone was happy.
"Manchester United earned €94m, Real Madrid got the best player in the world. Cristiano Ronaldo got what he wanted.
"Players like him do not seek the money, but glory. To do this, they want to go in the best clubs in the world to earn the maximum of securities. There are only three, four or five clubs who could give him what he wants."
Manchester United did offer him that during his time in the Premier League, after joining the current champions back in 2003.
During his stint with the Red Devils, Ronaldo won three domestic titles, an FA Cup, two League Cups and a Champions League trophy.
He left a hero in 2009, and plenty has changed at Manchester United since he last pulled on the shirt - most notably the manager, with David Moyes now at the helm.
Trophies haven't been as easy to come by at Real Madrid, with just one La Liga title and no European honours at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Much of that is due to Barcelona, who have claimed domestic glory in three of the four seasons Ronaldo has been in Spain. They've also lifted Europe's top prize once in that time, with Lionel Messi pulling the strings at the Nou Camp.
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